It started innocent enough, (Like everything here at Harlam), with Harlin making mention that she had been woken the night before by a loud cat. Yeah you know those furry things that seem do nothing all day then disappear at night doing whatever feline things it is they do. Lamo though had a thought that struck him about this that prompted this post from us here.
It is well documented that these creatures, (Yes the Cats.), were revered in ancient Egypt, in fact far more than humans. Did you know that the penalty for someone to have caused the death of a cat, whether intentionally or inadvertently was death! (Yeah that is some serious Cat respect there!). Cats were even given the high status of being mummified when they died. Also the family that owned the cat would shave their eye brows off as an act of mourning, which was not be over until they, (The eye brows.), grew back.
It is also a strong belief that is was the Egyptians that domesticated Cats around 2,000 BC but this theory again has been usurped. (Yes that means infringed upon!). 130,000 Years ago those Mesopotamian, (The cradle of civilization, or so they like to think!), Farmers were breeding cats from a small family of wild Cats living on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the Middle East. This technically meant they were, “Domesticating” this furry critter long before those smarty pants Egyptians! But we digress as this is about a specific thought of Cats, lets get back to that!
Although many believe it was the Egyptians that started the myth of Cats being the Guardians of the Underworld, this is based on a very loose interpretation of their Cat Goddess “Bastet”. She was Goddess of protection against contagious diseases and evil spirits which is not really the Underworld. Her only tenuous connection in these Egyptian myths was because she was seen for a while as the wife of “Anubis”, (The God of Embalming.), who was considered second in command to Osiris of the Underworld but that is as far as it goes.
For the Egyptians it is more likely in regard to their ancient Sun God, “Atum-Ra”. (They were incredibly passionate about this particular God). It was believed he would take the form of a cat on visits to the underworld. (Probably on visits to see Anubis and Osiris?). Thus we have the connection to that spirit world now being much more tangible. It is also legend has it that, “Atum-Ra”, gave birth to eight other gods and thus represented nine lives in one. Now we also have the explanation for perhaps where the idea that Cat’s have nine loves comes from to. (All from the same legend!)
However for the purpose of this post’s thought we need to perhaps move to Celtic Lore. (These guys were around about 1000-800 BC, time of the Iron Age.). The reason for this is that it was they who believed that cats were guardians of the gates to the Otherworld, guardians of their treasures and also bring to the people the wholeness, as a spiritual link between humans and the universe. This implies that Cats maybe have the ability to hear those spirits that have passed on to the Otherworld, whilst they stand guard of the gates. (We assume as our protectors to make sure that nothing nasty escape from there to our world?).
Going back to poor Harlin’s sleep interrupted night because of the kindly cat, there is a thought that forms. Is it possible that there are non-domesticated Cats, those with no human masters that are these Otherworld guards? Yet so like normal Cats that we would not be able to distinguish them from those we have at home so we do not notice them as they carry out their guard duties? (Hence why we don’t really know they actually carry out this important function?)
We went on to wonder if these guardians of the underworld gates are either trying to warn humans about a forthcoming demon or perhaps evil spirit that is trying to escape, (Or maybe has already managed a jail break.), from that world to this. Perhaps a more happy circumstance is that because they are the bridge between us and this spiritual Otherworld, maybe they are trying to pass on a message. One from some one that has died and now is part of that other world where they are unable to send a direct message themselves to one of here in this world so they ask the Cat Guards to pass the message on for them?
One thing that brought us to postulate this weird sounding possibility, is that the following Chinese legend about these same furry critters was written.
In this myth it is said that in the beginning of the world, the Gods appointed Cats, (Why on Earth they would do this is frankly bewildering!), to oversee the running of this new creation. However in order that they could better communicate with the Gods they were given the power of speech. (This is the ability to speak to the Gods, not human speech!), Sadly though these feline lay about animals were more interested in sleeping and playing beneath the cherry trees. Three times the Gods visited to see how the Cats were doing, each time they were disappointed. (Proof that God’s were mad to give Cats this task!). So on that third visit the Cats actually admitted that they had no interest in running the world so humans were nominated and they were given the power of speech. (The Cats had this power revoked!) Yet as we humans seemed incapable of understanding the actual language of the Gods, Cats still remained entrusted with keeping time and so effectively maintaining order.
Therefore if Cats once had this inherent ability of communication between the God’s and other creatures of the world, is it not logical to make the leap that this has remained within some of their descendants? Perhaps those that now stand Guard to that Otherworld? So when they are warning us or hopefully trying to pass on a message, they wrongly assume they can make us understand with their language, (Which we actually don’t understand because we don’t see its significance to us!).
Also remember that perhaps as part of this, compared to human eyes, cat eyes actually have six to eight times more light sensing rods, (Bits on the retina same as humans.), which means they can see a lot more in very low light. It is probably possible they can see other areas of the light spectrum to, ultra violet for one, which may mean they can see ghosts or spirits. Another tweak to their DNA for the task of being Otherworld guards? (The evidence for our thought does stack up here!)
Harlin also recants a story of a mother Cat who gave birth to three kittens in her back garden a few years back. Shortly there after another Cat, a male we think, came in to the garden and murdered, (That is the word Harlin uses.), the black one in the garden. Now for weeks after the mother cat would come back to that same spot and howl, like she was in emotional pain, at the exact spot where that kitten had died. Is it possible she was either trying to get the kitten’s soul to come back by talking to it? Or was she maybe trying to convince the kittens spirit to leave that spot in this world and make the journey to the Otherworld were it would find peace? The kitten being so young may not have understood the Otherword, what it was as it had not had time to learn from the parent or older Cats as it grew up. Again is this showing that Cats have the ability to see and converse with those life spirits from the world we all live in? (The mother to the kitten’s spirit in this case.)
Catluage (Cat-loo-arge), the new Harlam word for the language of Cats! (Yes it is in the dictionary, take a look.)
In conclusion we wonder is it therefore possible that the Cat meowing outside of Harlin’s bedroom window is trying to give her an important message of some sort? Maybe from a spirit of a life now transitioned to the Otherworld?. Maybe a warning that something nasty has escaped, or there is a presence we cannot see that the Cat is trying to warn us against!. Harlin is not the only one who enjoys this communication attempt late at night of course as many people hear Cats meowing but do they misunderstand its real meaning. (Rather than just being annoying and keeping them awake that is?). We think that there is some thought that Cat’s can be a communication bridge from this world to the next, we just need to learn how to interpret this language of theirs.
(C) Harlin & Lamo The Lion 2018